Tony Cervone | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
Tony-Cervone

Tony Cervone

Senior Vice President, Global Communications
General Motors Company

When General Motors found itself embroiled in yet another major crisis in the first half of 2014, new chief executive Mary Barra—already under fire for her performance in front of a congressional hearing—turned to automotive industry veteran Tony Cervone to take over the company’s global communications function. 

Barra had already committed to greater transparency, and to changing the culture that led to the crisis, but Cervone helped the company seize the initiative and tell a proactive story. 

Cervone had previously served since 2011 as executive vice president of group communications for Volkswagen Group of America and before that spent two years as senior vice president and CCO for United Airlines in Chicago. Before that, he had spent a decade at GM in several senior communications, leading media relations, issues management and labor and employee communications, executive and financial Communications, and European and North American communications. He also spent 15 years with Chrysler, where he managed pre- and post-merger communications related to the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz.

Please share a notable career highlight. 
Right here, right now at GM

What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications?
Constant change. I never have the same day twice, which I love

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
Greater fluency in data analytics

What skill/experience is required of today's CCO that might not be as relevant in the future?
Traditional organizational communications

Who or what inspires you to be your best? 
A hunger for excellence and a competitive streak!

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list? 
The Bible

Most interesting place you've traveled to?
Australian Outback